Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Deloitte: Poland enters the phase of economic expansion

The divergence of economic moods in Poland...

Two Years On: War in Ukraine and Its Global Impact

On February 24, 2022, a full-scale Russian...

Polish people look to 2024 with optimism, but financial concerns loom large

FINANCEPolish people look to 2024 with optimism, but financial concerns loom large

Poles anticipate improvements in the country’s situation and in their private lives, but primarily in finances.

Six out of 10 Poles believe that the approaching year will be better than the previous one. The most people anticipate improvements in the nation (35 per cent) and in their private lives (25 per cent). While only every fifth person counts on a favourable turn of events in finances, it is precisely changes associated with money that Poles expect most often this year, according to the “Your Forecasts and Plans for 2024” survey carried out by Quality Watch for BIG InfoMonitor. Above all, they hope for a decrease in inflation, an increase in salaries or repayment of arrears, which according to data from the BIG InfoMonitor Debtor’s Register and the BIK database are becoming larger. In recent months, they have been growing by PLN 600 million monthly.

The belief that the upcoming year will be better is most often expressed by individuals under 25 years old (72 per cent), and least frequently by people aged 45-64 (52 per cent). The optimistic perspective, however, has different dimensions – younger generations, up to the age of 44, mainly expect improvements in material and private situations, while respondents over 35 more often hope for a favourable situation in the country.

Optimism in the assessment of 2024 goes hand in hand with income and education – the higher these are, the more likely one is to have rose-tinted glasses. As long as there is money for day-to-day living in one’s pocket, at least 59 per cent of respondents expect that the current year will be better than the past one. However, it’s hard for optimists to prevail among those who can’t even afford the most urgent needs, or have to deny themselves a lot so as not to run out of money for basic expenses. Less than half (47 per cent) of respondents in this group expect improvements in 2024. The situation is similar with the opinions of people with higher and vocational education.

Which Regions Have the Most Optimists?

Looking at the country’s map, it’s hard to find any rules in the attitude towards the future, though perhaps the close proximity of the sea has a positive effect? The most significant advantage of people expecting changes for the better this year can be found in the Świętokrzyskie, Opolskie, and Pomorskie and Zachodniopomorskie Voivodships. In the latter, a significant proportion of respondents hoping for positive changes in their finances (35 per cent) had a significant impact. In this particular area, expectations are also high among many residents of the Łódzkie and Świętokrzyskie Voivodships, with about 30 per cent of respondents mentioning this, compared to a national average of 20 per cent. The least optimistic are the Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Podlaskie, and Lubuskie Voivodships, where the number of residents expecting that this year will be better than the last is equal to those who do not anticipate an improvement.

Financial Topics Dominated the List of Expected Changes for This Year

Although among the three areas of life in which most Poles expect improvements in 2024, money came in third place, after transformations in the country’s situation and in private life, the list of changes expected for this year was dominated by financial topics. The most respondents are counting on a decrease in inflation (34 per cent) and salary increases (27 per cent). Indications of increased security in relation to the situation in the country or the world, as well as overcoming health problems and improving the quality of public services, only come in later positions. And again, issues related to money appear.

Sławomir Grzelczak, the CEO of BIG InfoMonitor, says, “Even if only about 20 per cent of society expect improvements in financial situations, many certainly would prefer that this situation at least did not worsen, and high inflation threatens these expectations. A possible remedy is salary increases, but not everyone has a chance for a raise. Our databases show that the effects of price increases and the cost of living are increasingly affecting people who have previously gotten into financial trouble. In October and November of last year alone, arrears resulting from delaying loan repayments and unpaid current bills, alimony or court costs rose by almost PLN 1.2 billion. By the end of November, they amounted to PLN 84.8 billion. This is PLN 6.5 billion more than a year earlier. The total debt is rising, although the number of unreliable borrowers remains within 2.7 million.”

He added that in the survey, 8 per cent of respondents are hoping to deal with financial problems in 2024, and only 6 per cent mentioned the need to repay various types of arrears, which unfortunately shows that we do not always want to face our problems. It is enough to notice that the 2.7 million unreliable borrowers from our databases already represent about 9 per cent of the country’s adult population.

According to the “Your Forecasts and Plans for 2024” survey, the 35-44 age group talks about financial problems and the need to repay arrears the most – 10 and 11 per cent of respondents respectively. Seniors indicate these troubles the least – 3 and 2 per cent of respondents respectively.

Sławomir Grzelczak highlights, “Undoubtedly, passive waiting is one of the reasons for the significant increase in arrears, if only because of the statutory interest for delays, currently at least 11.25 per cent. We cannot forget that whether the new year actually brings changes for the better will be determined by what we do with it – from there.”

There is no doubt that many people who entered 2024 with a negative entry in the BIG InfoMonitor Debtor’s Register will undoubtedly face unpleasant surprises, for example, in the form of refusal of credit, a loan, problems with purchases in telecom or with deferred payment. Last year, almost 28 million reports checking consumers’ payment reliability were downloaded from BIG InfoMonitor, over 4 million more than the year before. Banks verifying a potential customer’s reliability in the BIK always receive data from BIG InfoMonitor as well.

The “Your Forecasts and Plans for 2024” survey was conducted using the CAWI method from December 21 to 24, 2023, among a group of 1090 people by Quality Watch for the Office of Economic Information InfoMonitor.

Check out our other content
Related Articles
The Latest Articles